Andy Peaks will use tomorrow (Tuesday) night’s NFA Hillier Senior Cup semi-final to find out which AFC Rushden & Diamonds players are ready to “go into the trenches”.
Diamonds will be aiming to hit back quickly after they were humbled 4-0 at Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday.
Peaks offered no excuses for the defeat as his team stayed two points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central with second-placed Chalfont St Peter also being beaten.
And he is now keen to see how his squad reacts when they take on Vanarama National League North strugglers Brackley Town at the Dog & Duck as they bid to book a place in the final of the county competition.
“I would sooner have a game than training but if we play like we did at the weekend then it will be embarrassing,” Peaks said.
“I hope we get the right reaction. It’s a massive game because it is an opportunity to get to a cup final and that’s what we want. But it will be a tough, tough match.
“It will be interesting for me because I will be looking to see who reacts after the weekend.
“We have another home game against Ware next weekend and I always pick my teams on who is showing me they have what it takes to fight and react to setbacks.
“Tomorrow night is going to give me an indication of who will be in the trenches when you need them.”
Ahead of the weekend, the Division One Central league table was brought up to date after it was confirmed that Diamonds’ 1-1 draw at Kings Langley in September stood as a result, despite the match being abandoned in stoppage-time.
It means Peaks’ team are two points clear of Chalfont and three ahead of St Ives Town and Kings Langley with the top four now having played the same number of games.